Joanna Bourke explores the way that violence and war impinge on the everyday world.
Wars are frequently justified 'in our name'. Militarist values and practices co-opt us, permeating our language, invading our dream space, entertaining us at the movies or in front of game consoles. Our taxes pay for those war machines. Our loved ones are killed and maimed.
With killing now an integral part of the entertainment industry in video games and Hollywood films, war has become mainstream.
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the First World War, and with it comes a deluge of books, documentaries, feature films and radio programmes. We will hear a great deal about the horror of the battlefield. Bourke acknowledges wider truths: war is unending and violence is deeply entrenched in our society. But it doesn't have to be this way. This book equips readers with an understanding of the history, culture and politics of warfare in order to interrogate and resist an increasingly violent world.
Joanna Bourke is a professor of history at Birkbeck College in London. Her book An Intimate History of Killing received critical acclaim, winning the Wolfson History Prize.